Thursday, January 9, 2014

Where are they now? Pretty In Pink

by +Tina Cruris

It was February 1986, long before I was even a glint in my father's eye [liar - Ed.]and John Hughes was on a roll from '16 candles' and 'The Breakfast Club' and the world was suffering from Molly Ringwald withdrawal, so John wrote 'Pretty in Pink', a class clash movie where a poor, pouty redhead has to choose between her doting childhood sweetheart and a rich but sensitive playboy.

Pretty in Pink
Pretty in Pink, isn't she

Andie (Molly Ringwald) is a social misfit in school who divides her time between looking after her dad (Harry Dean Stanton), her childhood friend Duckie (Jon Cryer) and Iona her employer and other friend (Annie Potts).

One of the rich kids from school, Blane (Andrew McCarthy) bumps into Andie at the record store where she works, and took an instant liking to her.[A record store is a place where people used to buy music on big black vinyl discs. It is kind of like i-tunes but you had to get off your ass and actually go to the store, then you had to bring this big disc home and put it on your record player. Records were like CD's but bigger, blacker and you had to flip them over halfway through - Ed.]

Blane then asks Andie out by sending her a computer message, which was ultra high tech by 1986 standards, and Andie agrees. This seriously pisses of Blane's friend Steff (James Spader) who was previously turned down by Andie at the beginning of the movie.

Duckie is not happy about it either because he has a big crush on Andie and expected to ride off into the sunset with her. He shuns her and accuses her of being a class traitor and refuses to help her when she is used up and spat out by Blane, assuming that she is going to be just another notch on his bedpost.

Molly Ringwald and Jon Cryer - Pretty in Pink
If you leave, don't leave now
Then we have some teen drama which causes Andie and Blane to split just prior to senior prom. Both of them end up going to prom alone. Andie meets Duckie on the way into prom and he still cares deeply for her, escorts her into the prom to the strains of 'If you leave' by O.M.D..

Long story short [too late - Ed.]Blane apologizes to Andie, Andie accepts his apology, Duckie does the hardest thing in his life and lets Andie go, and gets over her really quickly when a cute blond starts smiling at him from across the dance floor. Andie and Blane leave the prom and make out in the parking lot. Everybody is happy except Steff who ends up with no-one as is the fate of every bad guy in John Hughes movies. The End.

So, where are they now?

Molly Ringwald's acting career started back in 1979 when she appeared in a few episodes of Diff'rent Strokes. Then she turned up in a couple of low budget, low impact movies before breaking out in 16 Candles. Then her role in The Breakfast Club earned her a place in the 'Brat Pack' with other trendy actors of this era. After Pretty in Pink and a role opposite a young Robert Downy Jr. in The Pick-up Artist her movie career started to slide downhill. It wasn't until 2008 that her acting career picked up again as she starred in the ABC family series The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

Jon Cryer was a perfect choice for the character of Phil 'Duckie' Dale. Still relatively unknown until he became the Duckman, his meteoric rise to world fame was only surpassed by his meteoric fall back to relative obscurity. Sure he popped up here and there, but it wasn't until Two and a Half Men in 2003 that he became a household name again. Mostly because people were saying things like "Where do I know that guy from? Wasn't he that dude from that movie with that vacuous pouty redhead?" and "OMG he looks just the same but older and with less hair".

Andrew McCarthy was an 80's teen heart throb (briefly) and then came Mannequin which signaled the beginning of the end for McCarthy. Even two weekends at Bernie's couldn't resurrect a terminal acting career. Unfortunately for him, there was no TV series waiting for this 80's memory.

Annie Potts was already an established TV actress long before PiP came along. She had also tasted big screen fame as receptionist, Janine Melnitz  in 1984's Ghostbusters before she was picked to play Iona. Annie has been floating just below the radar since Ghostbusters II, voicing Bo Peep in The Toy Story series and making random isolated appearances in assorted TV shows as well as a constant stream of TV movies.

Just like Annie Potts, James Spader had already gained recognition as an actor before Pretty in Pink came along. His resume reads like a roller coaster with high points and low points across the decades, including Mannequin (with McCarthy), Sex, Lies and Videotape, Stargate and Lincoln. However, like most of his PiP cohorts, TV became his friend with major roles in Boston Legal, The Office and the new breakout hit, The Blacklist.

That wraps up the main characters. Other people you may have heard of that were in the movie include Dweezil Zappa, Andrew Dice Clay, Maggie Roswell and Harry Dean Stanton.

Do any of you have an opinion about Pretty in Pink? I would love to hear your thoughts, so share them in the comments section below. Was Andie right to pick Blane or should she have had a dozen kids with Duckie and raised them in a trailer? Did Steff grow up lonely and loveless? Why hasn't John Hughes written 'Pretty in Pink 2: Still Pretty' so that we can find out what became of these people?

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Pretty in Pink is one of my all-time favorites. I am a big fan of John Hughes, and Molly Ringwald. I love the entire cast of this movie.

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